What shapes of stirrers are available for Reactor-Ready and other reactors? What are the stirrers made from?

There are three types of rotor shapes available as standard for our jacketed lab reactors:
  • Anchor
  • Turbine
  • Retreat curve.

Reactor ready Stirrers

For Reactor-Ready and Lara, standard vessel kits include anchor stirrers and process vessel kits include turbine stirrers.  Reactor-Ready Pilot vessel kits include turbine stirrers. The rotors are PTFE, with the shafts comprising a stainless steel core encapsulated in a PTFE coating.

What is the maximum overhead stirrer speed (rpm) for Reactor-Ready, Duo and Pilot systems / stirrer guides?

500 rpm for continuous operation and 800 rpm for short periods.

Can/should I change the O-rings on my jacketed lab reactor piston? Part numbers?

O-ring materials have been specially selected, but all O-rings will deteriorate with use over time (through use at low/high temperatures, abrasion/stress from chemical residue/particles, and contact with chemicals). It’s important to regularly check the O-rings on your Reactor-Ready, Duo, Pilot or Lara piston (bottom outlet valve) and replace as required, to prevent any significant leaks. Piston O-rings are FEP-encapsulated silicone as standard.  For Reactor-Ready Pilot, the top two O-rings are also available in Chemraz, which is recommended if working above +150˚C.

Lara bottom outlet valve

The white piston itself should also be checked and replaced if required. The part numbers and descriptions for the pistons and O-rings are as follows:
Reactor-Ready, Reactor-Ready Duo and Lara pistons are 15 mm; Reactor-Ready Pilot pistons are 25 mm.
  • RR161100: Piston 15 mm for Single Jacketed Vessel
  • RR166055: Piston 15 mm for Vacuum Jacketed Vessel
  • RR166070: Piston 25 mm for Single & Vacuum Jacketed Vessel
  • RR166100: Replacement 15 mm Piston Top O-Ring
  • RR166102: Replacement 15 mm Piston Middle O-Ring
  • RR166104: Replacement 25 mm Piston Top O-Ring (Pack of 2)
  • RR166106: Replacement 25 mm Piston Middle O-Ring
  • RR210074: Replacement 25 mm Piston Top O-Ring Chemraz 0°C-230°C (Pack of 2)
Standard O-rings are also available as part of the Maintenance Kits.
  • RR121150: Reactor-Ready Maintenance Kit
  • RR210100: Reactor-Ready Pilot Maintenance Kit
  • LR199010: Lara Maintenance Kit

Can I buy a replacement black plastic ring for my piston?

The black plastic ring that is part of the piston handle can be replaced. For Reactor-Ready, Reactor-Ready Duo and Lara – 15 mm piston:
  • 435-1423: Loosening Ring 14/23 (Pack of 10)
For Reactor-Ready Pilot – 25 mm piston:
  • 435-2429: Loosening Ring 24/29 (Pack of 10)

Reactor Ready Pilot Piston

Please note, this is not a part that customers commonly need to replace.  In order to reduce any risk of damage to this part in future, please take note of the following:
  • Protect the piston handle from contact with corrosive chemicals – for example, do not handle the piston with dirty gloves.
  • When the O-rings/piston are in good condition and are sealing properly, this should prevent chemicals leaking down to the black loosening ring.  The piston O-rings (and the piston itself) should be regularly checked and replaced as required.
  • You should also be careful not to apply lots of force to the piston to remove it, as this could damage the piston / loosening ring.

Which vessels will fit together in a Reactor-Ready Duo frame?

Most combinations of vessels are possible, but some very wide vessels cannot be used together in Reactor-Ready Duo. There are compatibility tables for your reference in the Reactor-Ready and Reactor-Ready Duo leaflet. Considering two of the same vessels:
  • Two 2 L vessels of any type will fit together
  • Two 3 L single jacketed vessels will fit together, but two 3 L vacuum jacketed vessels will not fit together
  • Two 5 L vessels will only fit together if they’re single jacketed and standard (not process) shape
If you need any more information, please contact us, and we’ll be happy to advise.

How do I choose between single jacketed and vacuum jacketed vessels?

Vacuum jacketed vessels are particularly recommended for use with applications at low temperatures. A vacuum jacket (outside the oil jacket) provides insulation, minimising cold/heat loss from the vessel and so improving efficiency.  It means the outer surface of the vessel does not reach such extreme temperatures (reduced touch hazard), plus there is reduced frosting and condensation for improved contents visibility when cooling. Vacuum jacketed vessel pistons feature double O-rings at the top of the piston, to further improve the sealing, particularly useful at very low temperatures.  The design of these vessels ensures maximum isolation of the piston seal from hot/cold thermal fluid, by positioning the sealing O-rings in an environment surrounded by a vacuum, thereby minimising heat transfer.

Reactor Ready Vessels

Single jacketed vessels are a popular alternative.  They are lower cost than vacuum jacketed vessels. They also take up less space (something to consider if using a Reactor-Ready Duo).

How do I choose between standard shape vessels and process shape vessels?

For Reactor-Ready (including Reactor-Ready Duo) and Lara, for most vessel volumes you can choose between standard or process shape. Standard vessels are generally longer and narrower –

Reactor Ready Vessel

– while process vessels are generally shorter and wider.

Reactor Ready Vessel

All the process vessels have an approximate ratio of 1:1.25 for internal diameter to jacketed internal height, to mimic plant-scale reactors.  (For standard shape vessels, the ratio varies between vessel volumes.) For the large 5 L vessel, we tend to recommend the process shape for use with Reactor-Ready or Reactor-Ready Duo if possible, as this gives more space below the vessel than the standard shape. For Reactor-Ready Duo, consider which vessels will fit together – see the separate FAQ entry, ‘Which vessels will fit together in a Reactor-Ready Duo frame?’  If you want two large volume vessels, the narrower standard shape may be required. Another difference between the two vessel shapes is the vessel kits (which include the vessel, a PTFE stirrer, a Pt100 temperature probe and a temperature probe adapter) – standard vessel kits include an anchor stirrer, while process vessel kits contain a turbine stirrer. For Reactor-Ready Pilot, all vessels are process shape.

What is the height of Reactor-Ready and Reactor-Ready Duo?

Current/existing Reactor-Ready and Reactor-Ready Duo, with Radleys RS overhead stirrers (or Heidolph RZR stirrers)
The framework is 1080 mm high, so if you position the overhead stirrer on the frame so that its top is level with the top of the support rods or lower, this will be the system height. NB. If you have a particularly long vessel, and/or particularly tall glassware lid accessories, your total system height will be taller than this.
UPDATE: longer support rods for use with new Hei-TORQUE stirrer motors
Following the discontinuation of Heidolph RZR and Radleys RS overhead stirrers and the introduction of the Heidolph Hei-TORQUE range, we have designed longer support rods (poles) for Reactor-Ready and Reactor-Ready Duo. This is to enable use of the larger Hei-TORQUE stirrer motors with our longest vessel (5 L standard shape), whilst having space under the vessel to remove the piston. Reactor-Ready and Reactor-Ready Duo systems will start being supplied with these longer rods later in the year. With the longer support rods the framework increases to 1103 mm tall, and with Hei-TORQUE Precision 400 (the largest stirrer motor), the total system height is 1195 mm (excluding any tall glassware). This gives a 115 mm clearance below the piston of the RR135000 5 L standard shape vessel.

What is the maximum pressure of Radleys jacketed lab reactors?

The maximum pressure of our glassware is 0.5 bar above atmospheric pressure (also known as 0.5 barg, or 1.5 bar absolute pressure). This means that Reactor-Ready and our other jacketed lab reactors can tolerate slight positive pressure, but are not suitable for pressurised reactions. When working with inert gas, we advise you use a gas bubbler (oil bubbler) or pressure relief valve, to allow the pressure to escape while keeping air out. Limit the pressure of oil circulating through the vessel’s jacket if required (depending on your circulator model) so 0.5 barg is not exceeded.

What vacuum level can be achieved in Radleys jacketed lab reactors?

The vacuum obtained for a whole reaction system is typically approximately 10-50 mbar, although even better vacuum can be achieved – we have observed around 3-5 mbar under stationary test conditions in Reactor-Ready. The vacuum level that is obtained in a specific reaction system will depend on various factors, including:
  • The type of reaction system – Reactor-Ready, Reactor-Ready Duo, Reactor-Ready Pilot and Lara have an advanced design with better sealing than other reaction systems, so particularly good vacuum can be achieved
  • Whether glass cone stoppers (optional accessories) are used to plug any unused lid ports (required for the best possible vacuum), rather than Rodaviss sealing caps
  • The particular vacuum pump used (considering the pump’s ultimate vacuum and speed etc.); also note that when a vacuum pump/tubing is new, you may need to run the vacuum for some hours before the best vacuum levels can be achieved
  • Whether there is any water (or other substance) in the system – vacuum can cause this to evaporate, increasing the pressure
  • The condition of all the seals/O-rings and piston – these are consumable parts and should be checked and replaced if required
  • The condition and position of other components such as stirrer guide, stirrer shaft and probes
  • Whether all joints are clean, assembled correctly and tight
  • Whether all valves are closed properly
  • Whether the vessel/lid clamp is tight enough
  • Whether vacuum grease (silicone grease) is used on joints
  • The stirring taking place (speed/viscosity etc.)
  • The temperature within the vessel
  • The reaction taking place within the vessel
For details of our vacuum testing procedure, please refer to our technical bulletin ‘TB 102 Reactor-Ready vacuum and pressure testing’, available to download here.

What is the difference between internal and process/external control when using a circulator?

Internal (or jacket) temperature refers to the oil leaving the circulator to be circulated through the vessel jacket – it is inside the circulator, not inside the vessel. An external (or process, contents or reactor) temperature reading is from a temperature probe external to the circulator, typically a Pt100 in a Reactor-Ready vessel plugged into the circulator. Huber units with Pilot ONE controllers require at least the E-grade (software level) ‘Exclusive’ to have the option of control via the process temperature sensor rather than just the internal temperature sensor.

Why would I need HB9495 Basic to Exclusive Upgrade?

Huber Pilot ONE controllers come with 3 possible levels of software, which are referred to as E-grades. Unistats, as the most advanced type of Huber units, come with the highest level of software as standard, which is the ‘Professional’ E-grade. Open bath units (such as Ministats) and chillers are more basic models.  Those with Pilot ONE controllers only come with the lowest level of software, which is the ‘Basic’ E-grade. A key feature is the ability to control the temperature in ‘process’ mode (i.e. controlling the temperature of the vessel contents, using the reading from the temperature probe in the vessel), as opposed to just ‘internal’ mode (i.e. controlling the temperature of the oil the Huber is flowing through the vessel jacket).  This feature is not available in the low ‘Basic’ software level, only the middle one ‘Exclusive’ and the highest one ‘Professional’.  Therefore, we advise customers purchasing a bath unit to use with a reaction system to purchase the HB9495 upgrade to take them from ‘Basic’ to ‘Exclusive’ E-grade, so they will be able to control by the temperature of the vessel contents. In addition, you need at least the ‘Exclusive’ E-grade be able to record data onto a USB stick, to have the ability to make programs and use ramps, and to be able to reduce the maximum heating power and hence current drawn.

Why would I use a displacement insert?

Displacement inserts are often recommended for use with open bath Huber models (e.g. Ministats), when they are connected to a jacketed lab reactor (such as Reactor-Ready) as opposed to when placing items in the bath.

Huber Displacement unit

The purpose of the displacement insert is to take up some of the volume of the bath (in place of oil), reducing three potential issues to improve performance:
  • To change the vessel jacket temperature, the Huber needs to change the temperature of all the oil in the bath too, which takes time.  Reducing the amount of oil by using the displacement insert can enable faster temperature change.
  • Because the baths are open to atmosphere (exposed to oxygen and water vapour), rather than being a sealed system like Unistats, the oil is likely to degrade more quickly.  The displacement insert reduces exposure, so the oil can last longer.
  • Oil may overflow if it expands significantly.  Also, the larger the volume, the greater the oil will expand by when it is heated.  The displacement insert reduces the oil volume and hence amount of expansion, and also acts as a safe location for oil to expand into rather than overflowing from the bath.
NB. Huber Unistats have a different, more advanced design than bath units. Unistats are hydraulically sealed, with a smaller internal volume.  Displacement inserts are not applicable.

Can you supply a custom lid for my jacketed lab reactor?

The standard glass lids for our reaction systems are as follows:
For Reactor-Ready and Reactor-Ready Duo:
  • RR136000: 5 Neck Lid DN100 – 1 x B19, 2 x B24, 1 x B29, 1 x B34
For Reactor-Ready Pilot (choice of 2):
  • RR236000: 6 Neck Lid DN200 – 1 x B19, 1 x B24, 1 x B29, 2 x B34, 1 x B45
  • RR236002: 7 Neck Lid DN200 – 1 x B19, 1 x B24, 1 x B29, 3 x B34, 1 x B45
For Lara:
  • LR140025: Lara 5 Neck Lid DN100 – 1 x B19, 2 x B24, 1 x B29, 1 x B34
Our glassblowing workshop can make custom lids, but the diameter of each lid limits the number/size of necks (also called sockets or lid ports).  The central socket would need to remain the same, to fit the appropriate Radleys stirrer guide. If you think you need a custom lid, please contact us with full details of the number and size of sockets and why you think they are required – what equipment (glassware accessories) you will be using on the lid.  We will then be able to assess your requirements, and determine what we can offer you.  It may be that a standard lid would be suitable for you after all – for example, you can feed from two or three peristaltic pumps into one socket using an adapter, and an adapter for inert gas or vacuum typically fits on top of a condenser. A PTFE lid may also be a suitable option – see the separate FAQ entry, ‘Can you supply PTFE lids for my jacketed lab reactor?’

When do I need a size adapter when connecting a circulator to my jacketed lab reactor?

Our standard jacketed lab reactors have the following connections for Huber (or other circulator) hoses:
  • Reactor-Ready and Reactor-Ready Duo: M24 male
  • Reactor-Ready Pilot: M30 male
  • Lara (current model): M24 male
  • Lara (older version): M16 male
Huber units (or other circulators) have fittings for connecting to the hoses (referred to as pump connections) of a particular size for that Huber model, as stated in its technical data, e.g. M24, M30 or M16. These are always male. If your jacketed lab reactor has the same size fittings as your Huber unit (e.g. they are both M24), you can use a hose of that size (M24 in this case), and no size adapters are required. (Huber hoses are always female at both ends.) If your jacketed lab reactor has different size connections to your Huber (e.g. Reactor-Ready is M24 and your Huber is a Petite Fleur, which is M16), you could potentially use a hose of either size (e.g. M16), but you will need a size adapter where the size changes (in this example, between the M24 Reactor-Ready and the M16 hose). The descriptions of size adapters match the adapters themselves, not what they connect to. You always need male joining to female. For example, to connect M24 male Reactor-Ready to a M16 female hose, you need an M24 female to an M16 male adapter, part number HB6724. There are a range of size adapters listed in the Huber catalogue. Please contact us if you require further assistance. N.B. The full names of these M fittings are:
  • M16x1 or M16/1
  • M24x1.5 or M24/1.5
  • M30x1.5 or M30/1.5
They have been abbreviated in this post for clarity. The short names are commonly used.

What is the footprint of Reactor-Ready Duo?

The Reactor-Ready Duo framework (including drip tray) is 600 mm wide and 485 mm deep. When you include the vessel-to-manifold hoses, the overall footprint will be larger.  The width will increase, to up to approximately 1200 mm.